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Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 18:10 GMT 19:10 UK
Stewart launches digital 'jukebox'
Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox
Dave Stewart with Eurythmics partner Annie Lennox
Eurythmics star Dave Stewart has launched plans for new digital broadband services for music fans.

Within three years, he plans to provide users with music "channels" dedicated to their favourite artists, providing videos, live sessions and interviews by using high-quality, broadband internet connections.

Speaking to BBC News Online, Stewart said the project would usher in a "new era" for music.

Developed by a company established with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the project will be based in a former hospital in Covent Garden, London.

The Hospital
The Hospital: Will be a state-of-the-art multimedia studio when complete
The Hospital will become a state-of-the-art, fibre-optically wired building once renovation work is complete in two years.

Stewart, who announced his plans at a record industry seminar, said that users will be able to access a wide range of unused archive video material featuring major stars.

"You'll be able to shuffle through the channels like a giant magical jukebox," Stewart said.

"We could have a channel for each band - Bob Marley, the Rolling Stones, and so on."

Stewart, who is creative director of the project, is overseeing the huge task of archiving and clearing the rights to use the video footage.

'Mindmaps'

The channels will be connected together using website-style links which Stewart dubs "interactive mindmaps".

"Take a band like the Stones. We could use live footage, and Mick might come into the studio and start talking about music that influenced him. We could link to that too," he explained.


You'll be able to shuffle through the channels like a giant magical jukebox

Dave Stewart
"It will be about three to five years before the technology gets to normality. We're trying to get ahead of the game."

Users will be able to get access to the service for a flat monthly subscription using a digital cable set-top box.

Stewart is well-known for getting involved with media ventures.

Teaming up with entertainment executives, he launched the world's first "human potential, mind, body and spirit" channel, Innergy, this summer.

The lifestyle TV service has so far found slots with Dutch, Swiss and Austrian cable networks.

In recent years, he has also ventured into films - although his last film, Honest, was a critical and commercial flop despite starring three members of All Saints.

See also:

04 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Stewart energises cable TV
28 Aug 00 | Business
Understanding broadband
29 Feb 00 | Brit Awards
Music online: The story so far
31 May 00 | Entertainment
All Saints movie flops
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